By David Madden

By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For years we’ve been told not to get rid of old prescription drugs by flushing them down the drain. But it turns out in New Jersey health care facilities have continued to do just that.

A new law approved this week will change things, but not for awhile.

What was good for the goose was apparently not so good for the gander, until national checks of drinking water showed traces of pharmaceuticals.

Bergen County Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi has been working to tighten the law for the last few years.

“There was a little bit of push back in the beginning. But after sit downs with some of the institutions and a couple of changes in language, they became supportive of the bill,” says Schepisi.

The bill will take the better part of a year before it goes into full effect. State officials have to draw up guidelines, and those institutions have to present compliance plans for approval.

Penalties for violators start at $1,000.

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